Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tortilla's and Lye

This has been one HOT summer and it's just barely August.  One good thing,  I have heard is that it actually starts to cool off in September here!  Bonus for me as I'm used to it being closer to the end of October before we get much relief from the heat.  I really need to rethink my "calendar".  From what I can figure we are about 6 weeks ahead of the schedule I am used to. 

I appreciate all the comments on yesterday's post.  It is good to know that there are alot of folks who "get it" when it comes to the service industry.  There are hard working people out there who's service most of the time we just take for granted.   Unfortunately I lost a reader over it .  All I can say is I'm sorry if I offended anyone as that was not the intent of the post.

I have started my first official knitting project.  I'm trying my hand at making a ski hat. If all goes well (and even if it doesn't) I will post pictures as it starts to look like something. Even if it looks like an art project... I've decided that after that I will try my hand at a matching scarf.  Hopefully I won't get pointed to and laughed at wearing them out in public!  Now all I need to do is try and get them both finished in time to wear this fall or winter because I sure don't want to try wearing them in the spring.  The laughing and pointing would be sure haunt me then.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I wouldn't want to put myself under undue stress!  LOL

I am still looking for lye for soap making.  I found some Draino at the ChinaMart but apparently that is NOT going to work.  Don't laugh.... well ok go on laugh if ya want. What did I know! At least I was able to provide the locals with a couple of laughs today!   Apparently folks around here use lye for making methamphetamine.  Which is why it is so hard to find.  The girl at the counter asked me what I wanted with Lye.  I told her I wanted to make soap.  Her response was "You can't use lye to make soap!"   Hmmmm.....
    And boy  you should have seen the look on the pharmacist when I asked him if it was 100% lye.  I thought they were going to have to call 911 for him.  After he took a few deep breaths he asked my why I wanted to know.  So I told him I wanted to make soap.  All he could say was "I wouldn't recommend that".  And then just to make sure... he repeated himself.  So I of course had to ask "You wouldn't recommend making soap?"  To which again he replied "I wouldn't recommend that".  I was trying hard not to laugh as I walked away, leaving him shaking his head with his mouth flopped open!

    I wonder what they would think if they knew I make my own bread and tortilla's.  Or that I can make my own toothpaste.  Heaven help me if they knew I had personal cloths for using as an alternative T.P. source!
    Speaking of tortilla's, I finally found lard.  It seems I happened to hit Wallyworld while they were out of it the last time we were there.  I also found out that I am out of practice making the dang things.    Thank goodness Mushroom came to the rescue today and helped me with them.  My timing was definitely off.  Mars can easily go through 2 dozen in a week.  Oh well, no worries, I will be back up to par before ya know it!


  1. Odd...why would they not want you making your own soap. Unless they thought you were a meth head and they didn't want to contribute to your problem. LOL!

    Good luck with the hat, Sci, I know you can do it. :)


  2. Hang in there with the knitting Sci...I have tried crocheting to try and keep up my mom's tradition, and my first afghan was an absolute and unmitigated disaster! Not even the cats wanted to lay on it when I was done! LOL =) I have another that I am in the middle of...just don't have the time to work on it.... =) Look forward to the pictures.


  3. You can make your own lye by filtering water through hard wood ash.

    So, basically, build a nice fire using a hardwood. Take a clay pot, like a terracotta plant pot with a hole in the bottom and put a layer of straw in the bottom of the pot. Then, pack the pot with cold hardwood ashes. Filter rainwater or another "soft" water, a gallon at a time, through the ashes into a non-reactive, non-metal container. The liquid that comes out is a very weak lye compound. For a stronger lye, you can boil the liquid down by 75%, or I believe you can filter the weak lye back through the wood ashes. DO NOT put the lye in a metal container, as it will react. Aluminum, especially, is bad.

    No, I don't actually make drugs (in fact, I didn't know one of lye's other uses until you mentioned it :). I had to research colonial soap making for my book, which is how I figured out you could make lye by filtering rainwater through wood ash. Our ancestahs were wicked smaht ;).

  4. it might be worth going here:

    It will be easier than going around looking for it.

  5. As I said on your earlier post, make your OWN lye! There are instructions and examples of other people doing so everywhere. This the link I gave you the other day. http://www.countryfarm-lifestyles.com/make-lye.html

    Now Wendy and Herbalpagan have provided you with info/links as well. Remember, if (when?) the shtf, you won't have access to retailers for a lot of things. Might as well add making your own lye to your list of skills.

  6. Fel and Jewells I won't give up no matter how silly I look wearing my inventions next spring!

    HP thank you so much for the link. Very helpful indeed! I will be making the trip to the Big City soon and will now be able to get down to the making of soap.

    Wendy and HB thanks for the information. I looked into making my own lye and I am pretty sure I could make it. I seriously thought about trying it. At this time though I don't have the resources available to do it. It is still on my list of things to actually "do" for myself though. We all need to know how to "get back to basics". For now I will just have to make do with pre-made lye. I might as well take advantage of the "easy button" while I still can! I just don't have the access to the wood or the place to make it right now. As for not having the access to retailers for alot of things, I understand where you are coming from. Thanks for the excellent information.

  7. FYI, when you make soap with homemade lye, it makes a soft soap, you can make the soap harder by throwing in a handful of salt toward the end of the cooking process. I don't have the specifics on it, but you can learn more about it on-line. You should be able to buy lye on-line. that's what I did, although that source has gone out of business :(

    Can't wait to see your yarn works!